National and Labour at odds over policing

Police Minister Stuart Nash says local commanders are best placed to deploy their resources where demand dictates and where they believe staff will be best utilised. File photo.

National MP Scott Simpson is hitting out at the Government over a decision he says will reduce police capability in Thames.

Labour is introducing something called 24/demand – demand meaning however many days a station is required to be manned during the course of the week.

This allows local commanders to deploy their resources where demand dictates and where they believe staff will be best utilised.

“Some commanders have decided they are better to have stations open for example 24/3 – covering the busy periods of Thursday - Friday - Saturday nights,” says Police Minister Stuart Nash.

“I don’t see any advantage to having a uniformed officer sitting at a desk at 3am on a Tuesday morning, I would rather they were out in the community.”

Coromandel MP Scott Simpson believes the decision is “unfair on our community and will lead to more victims”.

“When National was in Government we committed $503 million to a Safer Communities Package which included a target of 95 per cent of New Zealanders living with 25km of a 24/7 police base. This Government has now dropped that target and tried to keep it quiet.

“The 24/7 bases included Thames. The Government needs to explain why it’s stripping away resources away from this area.

“The Thames station will now be called 24/Demand, which is just spin. It means police will need to guess when the station should be open 24/7 but that won’t be all the time.”

Stuart says response times matter too and police are putting a lot of effort into that, with average times of between 7-12 minutes to respond to an emergency.

The government is also delivering 1800 extra police – the biggest single investment ever in Policing, says Stuart.

“As a result of this increased investment, there will be 127 extra frontline officers in the Waikato District, an increase of 21 per cent on current staffing levels.

“We are also investing in property and stations to support regional communities.

For example, front counters in 14 sites in the Waikato Police District were closed due to health and safety concerns and problems with public accessibility under the previous government.”

Since then, 10 have been upgraded and reopened, and work is underway on the remaining four counters.

The 10 Police sites where front counters have been upgraded are: Thames; Waihi; Paeroa; Whitianga; Matamata; Huntly; Te Kuiti; Te Awamutu; Morrinsville; Hamilton Central

The four remaining sites where work is still to be completed are: Whangamata; Otorohanga; Cambridge; Hamilton Road Policing Base.

In the Bay of Plenty, there has also been an increase in investment.

Stuart there will be 125 extra frontline officers in the Bay of Plenty Police District, an increase of 19 per cent on current staffing levels.

“We are also investing in property and stations to support regional communities.”

For example, front counters in 16 sites in the Bay of Plenty Police District were closed due to health and safety concerns and problems with public accessibility under the previous government.

Since then, 10 have been upgraded and reopened, and work is underway on the remaining four counters.

The 10 Police sites where front counters have been upgraded are: Mount Maunganui; Katikati; Whakatane; Opotiki; Te Puke; Turangi; Kawerau; Tokoroa; Mangakino; Rotorua District HQ.

The six remaining sites where work is still to be completed are: Tauranga Central; Tauranga South; Papamoa; Taupo; Murupara; Putaruru

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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